WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) released the below statement following her vote against the article of impeachment of Donald J. Trump:
“Our Constitution references that impeachment was designed to remove an officeholder from public office—not a private citizen. Given that President Trump no longer holds public office, my ‘no’ vote today is based solely on this constitutional belief. My prior votes related to this matter have been consistent with this principle. As a United States Senator, my duty is to follow the Constitution, and my vote today reflects this. The precedent of impeaching private citizens is one that gives me great pause because of what it would mean for the future. If we do this now, what and who will be deemed impeachable next? This is a dangerous path that we should not go down.
“My vote today does not ignore the fact that what happened on January 6 was completely unacceptable. The violent actions that day were previously unimaginable and should have never happened in the first place. The vicious mob that attacked our Capitol that day threatened not just those who work there, including law enforcement, but they threatened the entire institution and what it represents. I firmly believe in our electoral system and in the power of the voice of the people. The American people spoke on Election Day in record numbers and voted to elect Joe Biden as our next president, a result I voted to certify. What happened on January 6 threatened our foundational transfer of power and the actions were an embarrassment to our country and everything that we stand for. The actions and reactions of President Trump were disgraceful, and history will judge him harshly.
“President Trump was removed from office in the manner most befitting our democracy, by a vote of the people. Impeachment is incredibly divisive and is not what Congress should be focused on right now. Our nation is hurting. Americans across our country continue to struggle from a pandemic that has wreaked havoc on our economy and communities. Our attention needs to be focused on delivering real solutions that help these individuals, families, and businesses recover fully. The fact is that the Trump presidency is now over, but the challenges facing our nation are not. It is time to turn our full attention to the American people and move forward.”